Long Live The People’s Democratic Republic!

”التغيير الحكومي لن يكون بالضرورة بناء على ما حدث، والرئيس له كامل الصلاحية في إجراء تعديل كلي أو جزئي إذا رأى ضرورة لذلك ومتى أراد”

“The government change will not be necessarily based on the last events, and the president has full power to make a full or a partial governmental amendment if he sees a necessity and whenever he wishes”.

These are the words of Mr. Belkhadem that followed the riots which took place from the 3rd to the 7th of the month in more than 20 wilayas. Mr. Belkhadem is the secretary general of the FLN (Front de Liberation Nationale), the party which holds the majority in parliament, he is also the official spokesman of the Algerian president Abdelaaziz Bouteflika.

Before these devastating events, doctors, teachers, students, and many more civil servants made demands for better life and work conditions through peaceful marches  which were faced and silenced by the repression and the sticks of the forces of security, in addition to threats of prosecutions in an atmosphere of total ignorance by the officials of each sector, the heavy media, as well as the total disregard by the presidency. On the other hand, and throughout 2010, the capital Algiers has witnessed a string of violent protests from people living in terrible conditions. These violent protests were more fruitful and many families succeeded in pushing the government to respond by relocating them in “better” places. This step caused more discontent among the families who did not benefit from the same measures, and who claim that the process was made in total opacity and without regard to “priority”. In fact, what the government created was a loop of infinite, ascending violence: clashes broke out between new and old residents of the relocation sites, where forces of security never seemed as keen to restore order!. In the mean time, many families in different cities have resorted to the same option after all channels of communication between the government and the population have been abolished.    

To go back to the words of Mr. Belkhadem, what this declaration suggests is that even this “channel” is no longer valid. The change will not and cannot be driven by the “uprising”, it will not and cannot be driven by the electorate; change is a mere “wish” of the president. Democracy? the people’s democratic republic can wait!!     

Father, why are these people disturbing our sleep?!

5th october 1988,


Awaken by the shouts of “Beb El Oued echouhada”, the 6 year-old boy rubbing his eyes knocks on the door of his parents room: dad, I cannot sleep, why are these people disturbing us? Why don’t they go to sleep?

Father: go to bed son, count to 100 and tomorrow they will be gone forever, you’ll see, it is dad who’s telling you so.

2:30 in the morning,

The little boy: dad, they are still shouting. I counted to 10000000… but they are still out there making noise, dad, dad, daaaad… Surprised that his father could sleep with all the noise outside, the little boy removes the curtains and looks through the window, he is astonished, he has never seen such a scene; burning tires, rocks everywhere, hundreds of young men being chased by policemen. He recognised some of the young men; he saw Rachid whom they call Careca because he is a gifted footballer, the best in the neighbourhood. He also saw Mohammed; the guy who sometimes helps him cross the road to go to school. There was Houssine, too. Houssine is a 25 year-old mechanic who is loved by all children in the neighbourhood; he buys candy and chocolate to everyone of them. There were other young men on the streets, they were masked and the little boy didn’t know if they are residents of the same neighbourhood or strangers to it. The only thing he was sure about is that he will never become what he alwyas dreamed he will become: a policeman.

4:30 in the morniong,

The little boy lays back on his bed and starts thinking about what he just saw..finally he managed to sleep.. the noise outside no longer a problem..

07th january 2011,


awaken by the noise, the 29 year-old single, unemployed man steps off his bed, puts his clothes on in a fraction of a second and runs to the door. “Beb El Oued echouhada”.. Algiers is burning.. again.. His mother in tears tries to stop him from going out: Mourad, come back  son, you are all I have left in this world, listen to me.. Mourad, Mourad, Mouraaaaad. Mourad closes the door, runs dowstairs and out of the building, on his way down he puts his “chech” around his face covering his mouth and nose and quickly he joins the hundreds of young men throwing stones at policemen and burning tires.


Mourad is brought home by his friends Mustapha and Omar..nothing will ever disturb his sleep now..he lost his life fighting his old dream. He is gone forever!!

8th january 2011,

The front page of the most read newspaper in Algeria reads “A bandit killed by the forces of security in Beb El Oued”. 


A Fa(i/l)ling System?! to those planted behind fancy desks

Failure exists since the existence of Man. Success too. The person or the group of people who fail or succeed are those who have started doing something, those who are actively trying to achieve something, hence, if they hold their ground throughout the phases and steps of the way towards their goals, the result of their activity can only be success, if they don’t, then they have failed. However, if they succeed in some of the stages and fail in others,  the result will depend on how efficiently they deal with their failures and successes in order to find a balance that will minimise their chances of total failure and maximise those of partial success, and this is where resides the value of Man, of groups of people, of systems of governance; their efficiency in actively dealing with failure and success. An inefficient system is a system which contains errors (partial failures) or failed alterations ( inability to find the right balance between failure and success). when inefficiency persists, the inefficient system becomes corrupt . Thus, corruption is a result or a symptom but not a cause of ineficiency.

بِسْم اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

أَفَلَمْ يَهْدِ لَهُمْ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّنَ الْقُرُونِ يَمْشُونَ فِي مَسَاكِنِهِمْ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَ‌ٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي النُّهَىٰ

Is it not a warning to such men (to call to mind) how many generations before them We destroyed, in whose haunts they (now) move? Verily, in this are Signs for men endued with understanding.